When parents of teenagers in Texas decide to divorce, they might find that their children want to have a say in the decisions made during the process, particularly those that affect them. While older children might have some right to be involved, in the end, parents should remember that even if they are 18, their teenagers are still considered children and that most divorce decisions must be made between the parents.
Can teenagers decide which parent they get to live with?
In Texas, teenagers do not explicitly have the right to decide this. However, parents should take their children’s preferences into account. In many cases, parents will share custody equally, so this might not matter much. However, in cases where children will reside primarily with one parent and have visitation with the other, both the court and the parents might consider the children’s request, as long as that request is deemed in the best interest of the children.
Can teenagers be involved in the creation of a parenting schedule?
When parents create or modify a parenting schedule, they consider a variety of things, including:
- The location of the children’s schools
- The location of each parent’s home in relation to the school and other activities
- The parents’ work schedules
- Additional childcare or medical needs of the children
- The children’s extracurricular activities and interests, including any part-time jobs held by teenagers
Because teenagers tend to have more complex lives, which also include active social activities with friends, parents might choose to consult with their children when they are designing their parenting schedule so that the family can truly create a schedule that works for everyone. However, while teenagers can be included in some of the decisions being made regarding their custody, parents should also be vigilant about not involving them too much in the other issues that are faced in a divorce.